Sunday, March 25, 2012

Idea Garage Sale: The House Divided

The left side of the brain has established a tyranny over the right. Even dream memories are brutally suppressed. Denied normal channels of communication, the right hemisphere takes its only remaining option and attacks the res tof the left-dominated body, confusing signals so that the individual, caught in the middle of this, has difficulty functioning physically.

When you start dividing the brain up like this, you get a staggering cast of characters without leaving the protagonist's head: left and right; conscious and subconscious; id, ego, superego; animus/anima. If the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa, do we normally have two subconsciouses and two memory banks? Based on the experience of epileptics whose connection between the hemispheres is severed, probably. The simplistic popular conception of the right hemisphere as "creative" and the left as "logical" is not accurate - one can, after all, be creative without violating logical principles - but it is true that creativity without communication (the left brain's province) is pointless, so putting all this into the body of a driven overachiever who buys into that false dichotomy would be a logical way to go.

This is a scary idea, all that activity going on without the person we would recognize as the individual even knowing it. And how would it play out for the story? Hypnosis putting the left hemisphere to sleep and allowing the right to voice its grievances?

I came up with this idea years ago while fishing for a way to use my particular health problems (which have to do with my ears and sense of balance, not my brain, as it turns out - though I can be monumentally stupid when I'm having gravity problems, which is one reason I have long blog hiatuses during bad periods; nobody needs to see that) for a story, but the amount of research it would involve, into a fascinating field which is, let's face it, still in its alchemical phase of development is intimidating even to me. I would want to have a solid grounding in basic neuroscience before I even attempted it, and that takes me out of my comfort zone.

You could, of course, skip the research and do a Hollywood blockbuster using the simplistic popular conceptions. If you wanted to. I guess.

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